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Tumblr Begs You to Make a New Password Because It Messed Up, You Guys

The problems with the Yahoo!/Tumblr merger begin to rear their heads as a major security breach scares users.
 
 
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Tumblr, the meta-metaphor for what the Internet largely is, (and also sort of the best of all the communities to be super subjective for a mini-second), was acquired by Yahoo! earlier this year, in a billion-dollar buyout that had many users shaking their heads, worried that their sacred ground was about to be despoiled by not just a mega-conglomorate, but also a lame one. Their fears, it turns out, were largely right. On Tuesday, Tumblr urged its users to download an important update for their iOS app after pinpointing a major security vulnerability that put user passwords at risk. 

In a blog post (what else) shortly after the incident was reported, vice president of product, Derek Gottfrid, said that they "have just released a very important security update for our iPhone and iPad apps addressing an issue that allowed passwords to be compromised in certain circumstances," making it just vague enough to be scary without telling you what to be scared of. While not elaborating any further (again, help), Tumblr was sure to say that if one's Tumblr password was the same anywhere else, those passwords should be changed as well, hinting that an all-out cyber-attack wasn't too crazy of a thought before posting the note and then becoming unreachable for comment.

All of this comes a mere month after the Yahoo!/Tumblr merge was formally complete, leading many to finger-point what seems like Tumblr's first major security breech as a tell-tale sign that things are only going to get worse for what has largely been considered the purest of all the social media institutions. Tumblr has done a lot right: its brilliant decision to institute reblogging over commenting, for instance, has helped turn Tumblr largely into the utopian place of cyber-kindness that tech-theorists in, like, the late 1990s were praying the Internet would be. With Yahoo! suddenly having its fingers in the Tumblr pot, users are right to worry that the site's ethos will falter. Until then, however, keep calm and carry on changing your passwords every couple months.

Rod Bastanmehr is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @rodb.

 
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